What’s the point of buying expensive and toxic cleaning products when all you need is already at home?
Here’s how to use four of the most common household ingredients to help you clean your home. Green, and inexpensive.
White Vinegar | Lemon | Salt | Baking Soda
Cheap and green, white vinegar will be your best friend during your cleaning sessions. The only drawback? The smell, not always very pleasant. But know that you can flavor it with essential oils, lemon or lavender.
To use it, all you need is pour it directly on a damp sponge or a dry cloth.
- Disinfectant: in the kitchen (surfaces, fridge), bathroom (sink, shower), toilets. White vinegar is a good alternative to bleach.
- Cleaner: for windows, mirrors, silverware, tiles, and even your screens.
- Freshener: for toilets, garbage cans, fridge.
- Fabric softener: put white vinegar in the fabric softener compartment, and it will do wonders for your clothes and your washing machine.
- Degreaser: for microwave, pans, ovens.
- Descaler: for the kettle, sink, faucets.
- To clean your tiles: mix half a cup of baking soda with two cups of white vinegar in half a bucket of hot water for a radiant floor.
- To remove limescale in your kettle: pour a glass of white vinegar in your kettle and fill the rest with cold water. Let it stand for an hour, then boil. Discard the contents and rinse the kettle with cold water.
- To descale your dishwasher: Put 3 oz/100 ml of white vinegar into the detergent compartment and activate your dishwasher (empty).
The lemon not only adds flavor your dishes and desserts, but it also makes cleaning miracles.
Use it by pressing the juice on a sponge or directly on the surface to be treated, by cutting it in half for a more successful outcome. Roll it with your hands to soften it.
- Freshener: for the fridge, dishwasher, toilets, garbage can.
- Stain-remover: for clothes. It also allows white linens to regain their original whiteness.
- Cleaner: for cookware, silverware, tile joints, brass, glass.
- Disinfectant: for the refrigerator, kitchen surfaces and bathroom.
- Descaler: for faucets, sink, shower.
- Moth-proofing: for your cabinets. You can clean them with a mixture of half a liter of water and the juice of 4 lemons.
- To degrease your microwave: press half a lemon in a small bowl filled with water. Heat it up for 5 minutes. Condensation softens the stubborn stains, and you’ll only need a sponge to remove them.
- To whiten your linens: add the juice of 2 lemons to a liter of boiling water in a bowl. Let your linens soak for 15 minutes.
- To descale your clothing iron: salt the pulp of half a lemon. Rub it against the cold iron. Rinse, and dry it with a cloth.
Don’t be fooled by its name, as sodium bicarbonate is a great product for your food, bust also great for cleaning. Useful for the whole house.
Only be careful not to use it on wool and silk clothes, as well as aluminium coating.
- Freshener: for the fridge, garbage can, toilets, laundry basket, vacuum bag, closets, etc.
- Descaler: for faucets, showers, sinks.
- Cleaner: for pots, kitchen surfaces, bathroom, oven, microwave, dishwasher, windows, etc.
- Stain-remover: for clothes (vaporized before washing or adding two tablespoons with the laundry).
- Freshen the fridge: pour half a glass of baking soda in a cup and put it on the highest shelf of the refrigerator. Stir from time to time and change every three months.
- To clean a burnt saucepan: pour four teaspoons in the bottom of the pan. Fill it halfway with boiling water. Let it stand overnight.
- To clean your mattress: sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on your mattress. Lightly brush it across, and let it sit all day before vacuuming.
On top of its culinary uses, salt can also help you in your chores.
Use salt by sprinkling it directly on the surface to be treated, or mixed with hot/sparkling water.
- Stain-remover: for water stains on wood, wine stains on fabrics, perspiration stains on clothing.
- Cleaner: for brass, cutting boards, burnt pans (immediately sprinkle salt on it and let sit for several hours before cleaning), fridge, etc.
- Rustproofing: apply a mixture of salt and lime directly over rust. Let it stand for 30 minutes, then scrub with a damp sponge. Dry the surface thoroughly to prevent rust to reform.
- To polish your brass: fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and 3 tablespoons of salt. Spray on your brass, leave for 15 minutes and wipe with a dry cloth.
- To clean and sanitize a cutting board: mix the baking soda and salt in equal amounts with a little water until a paste forms. Rub your board with it. Rinse with warm water and let it dry.
- To clean your pipes: mix half a cup of salt in a liter of boiling water and pour it into the sink.